24 May 2018

Mexico leads Latin America as one of the first ten countries in the world to launch an artificial intelligence strategy

By Emma Martinho-Truswell and Constanza Gomez Mont

Mexico has joined some of the world’s most technically advanced and ambitious nations by launching a national artificial intelligence (AI) strategy. During a time of national political transition and technological change worldwide, Mexico’s AI strategy provides direction on how the opportunities from AI can be harnessed for the country’s economy and society.

The launch of its strategy makes Mexico one of the first ten countries in the world – and the first in Latin America – to publicly announce a national AI strategy. In doing so, Mexico has joined an elite club which includes the UK, Canada, China, the UAE, Singapore, South Korea, France, and Japan.

Publication of AI strategies and policy statements

Publication of AI strategies and policy statements

Mexico’s strategy clarifies the role of government in helping to shape the development and uses of AI, and confirms Mexico’s place as a leader in digital technologies in Latin America.

Mexico’s strategy calls for the following:

  • Developing an AI subcommittee within the Intergovernmental Commission for Electronic Governance, to promote multi-sectoral dialogue and approaches;
  • Mapping use cases and needs of industry, and identifying best practices within government;
  • Promoting Mexico’s international leadership in digital policy, with a special emphasis on the OECD and D7;
  • Opening up the recommendations of the report for public consultation;
  • Working with experts and citizens through the AI subcommittee to ensure the continuity of these efforts with future governments.

Based on our discussions with policy makers in the country, Mexico is unique for its focus on the social impacts of AI. Current case studies of AI in Mexico demonstrate the use of emerging technologies to achieve social goals, such as increasing financial inclusion, combating corruption, improving public health, and reducing crime.

The initial steps for Mexico’s AI strategy are based on our report ‘Towards a national strategy for AI in Mexico’. The report is the product of a collaboration between Oxford Insights and C Minds, commissioned by the British Embassy in Mexico and funded by the UK Prosperity Fund. Its recommendations are based on inputs from experts across Mexico, collected during a six-week research period that included: qualitative analysis of interviews with over 60 AI experts working in government, big technology companies, startups, academia and non-governmental organisations; a review of existing national AI strategies from around the world; and quantitative analysis predicting the likely economic impact of AI on the Mexican labour market.

The C Minds and Oxford Insights team in Mexico

The C Minds and Oxford Insights team in Mexico

Mexico is well-placed to make rapid progress in AI. The country has a young and talented labour force, an early mover advantage from being among the first countries in the world to announce an AI strategy, and close economic and cultural relationships with both North and South American countries making strides in AI research and applications. The current Mexican government pioneered the creation and deployment of Mexico’s first national digital strategy, with focus areas including connectivity, interoperability, data, digital skills, inclusion, cybersecurity, and efforts to ensure the consistency of legislation governing the digital ecosystem. This will serve as a foundation for a strong AI policy that could be developed by the new administration (following July 2018’s elections).

Mexico also has a nascent, innovative group of startups working to find new digital solutions to challenges at the national and local levels. It has a strong academic community, which will flourish with the right support. Finally, local governments such as Jalisco are already embracing a  coordinated digital effort and are committed to working with civil society on AI. Jalisco, Mexico City, and Monterrey are demonstrating how AI can be used for priority challenges such as mobility, health, government communication, and agriculture, among others.

There is much more that can be done. Recommendations from the report by Oxford Insights and C Minds include:

  • The creation of a central government office to implement and coordinate Mexico’s digital and AI policy;
  • The establishment of a national Mexican Centre for AI, modelled on the UK’s Turing Institute, to help support collaboration between industry, academia, and government;
  • An emphasis on education, including teaching computational thinking in schools and increasing the numbers of Masters and PhD students in AI and data science;
  • Maintaining a resilient open data infrastructure while protecting personal privacy;
  • Designing and implementing an ethics framework to help guide good decision-making for those working in AI.

Nevertheless, Mexico’s AI ecosystem has made a clear statement that Mexico intends to lead Latin America in AI strategy, and join the elite group of countries who have already started developing an ambitious AI agenda. A thoughtful, inclusive, and ethical approach will help to ensure that AI can promote shared benefits for all citizens.

Insights

More insights

21 April 2017

Why Government is ready for AI

12 July 2017

Five levels of AI in public service

26 July 2017

Making it personal: civil service and morality

10 August 2017

AI: Is a robot assistant going to steal your job?

19 September 2017

AI and legitimacy: government in the age of the machine

06 October 2017

More Than The Trees Are Worth? Intangibles, Decision-Making, and the Meares Island Logging Conflict

16 October 2017

The UK Government’s AI review: what’s missing?

23 October 2017

Why unconference? #Reimagine2017

03 November 2017

AI: the ultimate intern

09 November 2017

Motherboard knows best?

23 November 2017

Beyond driverless cars: our take on the UK’s Autumn Budget 2017

05 December 2017

Why Black people don’t start businesses (and how more inclusive innovation could make a difference)

06 December 2017

“The things that make me interesting cannot be digitised”: leadership lessons from the Drucker Forum

23 January 2018

Want to get serious about artificial intelligence? You’ll need an AI strategy

15 February 2018

Economic disruption and runaway AI: what can governments do?

26 April 2018

Ranking governments on AI – it’s time to act

08 May 2018

AI in the UK: are we ‘ready, willing and able’?

05 July 2018

Beyond borders: talking at TEDxLondon

13 July 2018

Is the UK ready, willing and able for AI? The Government responds to the Lords’ report

17 July 2018

Suspending or shaping the AI policy frontier: has Germany become part of the AI strategy fallacy?

27 July 2018

From open data to artificial intelligence: the next frontier in anti-corruption

01 August 2018

Why every city needs to take action on AI

09 August 2018

When good intentions go bad: the role of technology in terrorist content online

26 September 2018

Actions speak louder than words: the role of technology in combating terrorist content online

08 February 2019

More than STEM: how teaching human specialties will help prepare kids for AI

02 May 2019

Should we be scared of artificial intelligence?

04 June 2019

Ethics and AI: a crash course

25 July 2019

Dear Boris

01 August 2019

AI: more than human?

06 August 2019

Towards Synthetic Reality: When DeepFakes meet AR/VR

19 September 2019

Predictive Analytics, Public Services and Poverty

10 January 2020

To tackle regional inequality, AI strategies need to go local

20 April 2020

Workshops in an age of COVID and lockdown

10 September 2020

Will automation accelerate what coronavirus started?

10 September 2020

Promoting gender equality and social inclusion through public procurement

21 September 2020

The Social Dilemma: A failed attempt to land a punch on Big Tech

20 October 2020

Data and Power: AI and Development in the Global South

23 December 2020

The ‘Creepiness Test’: When should we worry that AI is making decisions for us?

13 June 2022

Data promises to support climate action. Is it a double-edged sword?

30 September 2022

Towards a human-centred vision for public services: Human-Centred Public Services Index

06 October 2022

Why You Should Know and Care About Algorithmic Transparency

26 October 2022

Harnessing data for the public good: What can governments do?

09 December 2022

Behind the scenes of the Government AI Readiness Index

06 February 2023

Reflections on the Intel® AI for Youth Program

01 May 2023

Canada’s AI Policy: Leading the way in ethics, innovation, and talent

15 May 2023

Day in the life series: Giulia, Consultant

15 May 2023

Day in the life series: Emma, Consultant

17 May 2023

Day in the life series: Kirsty, Head of Programmes

18 May 2023

Day in the life series: Sully, Partnerships Associate/Consultant

19 May 2023

LLMs in Government: Brainstorming Applications

23 May 2023

Bahrain: Becoming a regional R&D Hub

30 May 2023

Driving AI adoption in the public sector: Uruguay’s efforts on capacity-building, trust, and AI ethics

07 June 2023

Jordan’s AI policy journey: Bridging vision and implementation

12 June 2023

Response to the UK’s Global Summit on AI Safety

20 June 2023

 Unlocking the economic potential of AI: Tajikistan’s plans to become more AI-ready

11 July 2023

Government transparency and anti-corruption standards: Reflections from the EITI Global Conference in Dakar, Senegal

31 August 2023

What is quantum technology and why should policymakers care about it?

21 September 2023

Practical tools for designers in government looking to avoid ethical AI nightmares

23 October 2023

Collective Intelligence: exploring ‘wicked problems’ in National Security

23 October 2023

Exploring the concepts of digital twin, digital shadow, and digital model

30 October 2023

How to hire privileged white men

09 November 2023

Inclusive consensus building: Reflections from day 4 of AI Fringe

13 November 2023

AI for Climate Change: Can AI help us improve our home’s energy efficiency?

14 November 2023

Navigating the AI summit boom: Initial reflections

20 November 2023

AI for Climate Change: Improving home energy efficiency by retrofitting

24 November 2023

Will AI kill us all?

27 November 2023

AI for Climate Change: Preventing and predicting wildfires 

28 November 2023

Service Design in Government 2023: conference reflections

04 December 2023

AI for Climate Change: Using artificial and indigenous Intelligence to fight climate change

06 December 2023

Release: 2023 Government AI Readiness Index reveals which governments are most prepared to use AI

11 December 2023

AI for Climate Change: AI for flood adaptation plans and disaster relief

18 December 2023

AI for Climate Change: Managing floods using AI Early Warning Systems